Definition of moralize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmôrəˌlīz/


[no object] (often as noun moralizing)
1Comment on issues of right and wrong, typically with an unfounded air of superiority: the self-righteous moralizing of his aunt was ringing in his ears
More example sentences
  • But she couldn't, and I just want to tell her that I think she is too self-righteous and moralizing and someday when she grows up a bit, she might understand.
  • But this is not the time for sermonizing or moralizing over US foreign policy.
  • Issues of race are presented plainly, without moralizing.
pontificate, sermonize, lecture, preach
1.1 [with object] Interpret or explain as giving lessons on good and bad character and conduct: mythographers normally moralize Narcissus as the man who wastes himself in pursuing worldly goods
More example sentences
  • Tennyson's characters often symbolize particular qualities, and his works are moralizing.
  • Rousseau, by contrast, cast his work as a speculative, and moralizing account of society in general.
  • But the problem with this view is that it moralizes images in terms of a reductive dichotomy between good and bad, ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, and thus fails to recognize the ambivalence of the text.
1.2 [with object] Reform the character and conduct of: he endeavored to moralize an immoral society
More example sentences
  • So it moralizes everyone to do what he or she wants to do and be what he or she wants to be, irrespective of what the society prescribes.
  • The congregations sought to give practical demonstration of their belief by assisting and moralizing the working masses.
  • They pointed to a progressive development of the concept of holiness, noting that it was gradually moralized under the influence of the great prophets.



Pronunciation: /ˌmôrələˈzāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Although each character probes for higher meaning, and copes with somewhat troubled family lives, the author does well to steer clear of the endless moralizations that these issues bring, especially concerning drug use.
  • He's able to distil the truth about teenage angst without the usual moralization.
  • And no amount of moralisation will change this survivalist law of nature.


Pronunciation: /ˈmôrəˌlīzər/
Example sentences
  • He is a moralizer and a preacher; one of those people who thinks their morals should be your morals.
  • For moralizers these principles are a question of manners, not of substance.
  • There can be no prescription - too many moralisers have tried and failed to codify desire.


Example sentences
  • They are blatantly, didactically, and moralizingly feminist, but they are also erudite, interesting, and amusing.
  • Des is the only character who really indulges in drugs, which moralizingly prove to be his ultimate undoing, while the others look on and sniff disapprovingly as they sip Martinis in a rather anachronistic, late '90s manner.
  • If there was something moralizingly condescending about the tithing approach to international aid, there's something ghoulish about current development/aid attempts to find the upside of slums, turn them into ‘ventures’.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'explain the moral meaning of'): from French moraliser or medieval Latin moralizare, from late Latin moralis (see moral).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mor·al·ize

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